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Minn. Indian Gaming Association: “7,000 people could lose their jobs over this”

Opponents of Racino plans say expansions to non-Indian gaming for funding a Vikings stadium would cut casino jobs by 30 percent.
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Opponents of Racino plans say expansions to non-Indian gaming for funding a Vikings stadium would cut casino jobs by 30 percent.

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Another day, another stadium bill introduced at the Capitol

While the Vikings, Minneapolis, and the Dayton administration are in negotiations to come up with a stadium plan, state lawmakers have floated a series of long-shot proposals of their own. The latest is a revival of the "racino" idea, which would use revenue from slot machines at horse racing tracks to help fund a new stadium. Gambling opponents and tribal casinos have helped defeat the proposal in the past.

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Leaders of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe say they are Minnesota's largest - and poorest - tribe. Thursday they'll roll out a plan for a Twin Cities casino and propose splitting the profits with the state. The idea may attract those looking for a way to fund a new Vikings stadium without raising taxes. But expansion of gambling has plenty of opponents.

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A funny thing happened to the stadium bill on its way to the Senate floor. A racino was added. Stadium backers worry inclusion of casino gambling at racetracks as a funding source will kill the bill. One more committee will take up the measure Thursday and may try to remove the racino.

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Gov. Dayton says even if lawmakers choose to fund a new Vikings stadium through a racino, the plan would likely get gummed up in the court system for years. He says any plan to expand gambling at the racetracks would probably bring a lawsuit from the state's tribes, which have a long-standing deal that grants them a monopoly on gambling.

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